With COVID-19 altering daily life, we find ourselves with plenty of free time. If you still want to be productive despite the social isolation, here are Netflix shows that can enlighten (and entertain) you on the different aspects of the food industry.
“The Chef Show”
Jon Favreau, who wrote, co-produced, directed, and starred in the American comedy-drama “Chef,” decided to team up with Roy Choi in the Netflix reality cooking show “The Chef Show.” Favreau met Choi when he was consulting with him for the abovementioned movie. In “The Chef Show,” Favreau and Choi, together with guests from the entertainment and culinary world, experiment with different techniques and recipes—inside and outside the kitchen.
“The Final Table”
Twelve pairs of chefs compete for a spot in the “final table” where they will sit side by side with some of the greatest chefs today: Grant Achatz (US), Enrique Olvera (Mexico), Clare Smyth (UK), Andoni Aduriz (Spain), Helena Rizzo (Brazil), Vineet Bhatia (India), Carlo Cracco (Italy), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Japan), and Anne-Sophie Pic (France).
Each episode focuses on the signature dishes of a certain country, which are then judged by celebrity ambassadors, food critics, and world-renowned chefs. James Beard Award-winning writer and Bon Appétit’s editor-at-large Andrew Knowlton hosts the show.
Food writer Michael Pollan discovers how food changes form, and how its history continues to relate itself to the rest of the world today. With themed episodes centered on the elements of fire, air, water, and land, Pollan learns to bake, brew, and braise in pursuit of culinary and cultural knowledge.
Simply put, this Netflix docuseries exposes the rotten side of food production—what goes into the supply chain and eventually into food. The unconventional, and often dismaying, truths behind food promises viewers a completely different way of seeing the industry.
Emmy-nominated series “Chef’s Table” revolves around the people who redefine gourmet across the world. Under the direction of David Gelb who also created the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” the profiles of notable individuals in the culinary world reveal the stories behind their methods and masterpieces.
From the filmmakers of “Chef’s Table,” this Netflix series moves out of the fine dining scene and into the world of roadside eateries, small market stalls, and locals-only restaurants in Asia to tell the story behind the people who shape street food culture.
“Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat”
James Beard Award-winning chef and New York Times food columnist Samin Nosrat travels to California, Japan, Mexico, and Italy to show the four fundamentals of good cooking in this process-based Netflix series derived from her 2017 cookbook of the same name.
“Restaurants on the Edge”
Declining restaurants are revived by tapping into the local culture with the help of a team composed of a restaurateur, a designer, and a chef in an attempt to remodel businesses and fuse it with the community.
“Somebody Feed Phil”
Phil Rosenthal, the creator of American sitcom television series “Everybody Loves Raymond,” visits culture-rich cities such as Bangkok, Mexico City, and Lisbon to experience local cuisine in this Netflix travel documentary series.
“What the Health”
This film is a follow-up to the 2014 documentary feature “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret” produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. “What the Health” investigates the connection between diet and disease as well as the industries of food, healthcare, and pharmaceutics being at potential risk of losing billions of dollars.
“Forks Over Knives”
As food scientists reveal how processed food is behind the growing rates of food-related illnesses such as obesity, cancer, and diabetes, the shift from animal-based to plant-based diets have become the hope to control these global health risks.
David Chang of Momofuku explores the connection between food and the rest of the world through a cross-cultural approach, examining the historical and sociological background of cuisines.
“Chef & My Fridge”
South Korean cooking variety program “Chef & My Fridge” stars Kim Seong-joo and Ahn Jung-hwan. In each episode, they have to come up with their best dishes using ingredients inside their guests’ own refrigerators.
Home (and often fail-prone) bakers take on difficult baking projects that require them to recreate intricately designed and carefully executed pastries and confectioneries in this reality competition.
Documentary film “Barbecue” celebrates the idea of community and tradition as well as encapsulates the different flavors, techniques, and cultures behind this cooking method.
“Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner”
After starring in “Ugly Delicious,” David Chang travels to experience cuisine and cultures from various cities around the world.
“The Chef’s Line”
A reality competition show about diverse cuisines where home cooks go up against professionally-trained chefs.
“The Big Family Cooking Showdown”
Every week, two teams of families compete in three challenges judged by Michelin-rated chef Giorgio Locatelli and British chef and haute cuisine teacher Rosemary Shrager.
In this Spanish series, the cultural roots, history, and flavors of different tacos are featured while unravelling the stories of its home country, Mexico.
A baking competition that requires teams to create outstanding desserts within a short period. Three hours will be used for the first two rounds (if the team finishes early, they can use the remaining time in the final round) and another three hours for the final round.
“Cooking On High”
The first-ever cannabis reality cooking show hails the best marijuana-infused dish from participating chefs.
“Zumbo’s Just Desserts”
Pastry chef Adriano Zumbo puts amateur Australian chefs to the test in this reality baking competition.
“Million Pound Menu”
Budding restaurateurs try to impress the public and capture the attention of potential investors who can approve their way to culinary success.
“Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret”
The ugly truth behind factory farming—how it’s destroying the Earth and why this reality is ignored by environmental groups—is revealed in this documentary film.
“Cooked with Cannabis”
An upcoming cooking competition series where CBD sauces and THC infusions are presented by chefs in their masterful dishes.